January 30, 2011

Discrediting the Championships

Right now, I'm following the Royal Rumble results. I couldn't help but notice that they put both the World and WWE title matches on first and second respectively. I do understand that this is the Royal Rumble and the namesake match takes the main event by default, but come on. The titles need to have some value and some importance in order for people to take interest in the matches. By having your 2 top title matches on the undercard, you're making the World and WWE titles seem less important than the Diva's title. The joke of a women's division takes precedence over the 2 top tier main event pictures.

Congrats, WWE. You've killed the importance of one of your biggest events.

January 27, 2011

Monday Night Raw Review: Jan. 24/11

I don't know what my schedule is going to look like after this week for work because I just got promoted to closing supervisor. I'll fill you in as soon as I know what the plan is. I'll still be doing reviews and other stuff, it just may be on a different schedule than it currently is.

I'm also going to try a new format for this review, and if I think it goes well (feel free to leave comments here, on the ACA Facebook page, or email me). Instead of going chronologically, I'll do 3 separate sections: The good (stuff I liked), the bad (the stuff I didn't like) and the matches (they'll still be individually rated). I'll still do the average match rating, match of the night and overall rating.

WZ coverage

The Good:

-- Corre/Nexus angle. Yeah, we all saw it coming, but with 2 top guys in Punk and Barrett leading the feud it'll be one worth watching. The potential for awesome matches between these guys is what's going to keep me interested. I'm not sold on Ezekiel Jackson as a talker yet, but he can only improve. I'd love to see some tag matches between Harris, McGillicutty, Slater and Gabriel as well. Maybe they could go for the tag titles and actually give them some prestige. Mason Ryan looks fairly promising. I see good things in his future.

-- Edge's opening promo. He does great work on the mic. The only downside of this promo was the Raw GM.

--  Miz. Not only because he interrupted Cena, but because his promo made himself sound powerful. This was one of the better promos he's done recently. It wasn't as repetitive as some others have been.

-- Bryan Danielson the ladies man. Admittedly, Gail Kim isn't my first choice for this, but at least they're using her for something. I don't know if this is truly good because some people could say that he was leading the Bellas on, which is bad, but it puts him above their drama which was pulling him down.

The Bad:

Please note that Cena is a given on this list. I'll only mention him if it's particularly awful.

-- Swagger and McIntyre looking weak. I don't know why they push someone on one show, then make them look bad on the other.

-- LayCool. Can they stay on their own show please? McCool is one of the people I hate on the mic. Everything she says lacks a certain energy, it's all delivered in the same basic tone time after time. Layla is fucking hot though.

-- Cena killing PG. I may not like saying this, but if the PG poster boy can't take it seriously, what's the point? I hate Cena as the face of the company or the PG rating, but if he's going to hold that spot, can he at least act like it?

-- Putting your 2 world champions on the mid card. Yes, it was a great match, but when placed low on the card it makes it seem less important than it really is. They're supposed to be the 2 top guys in the company, yet having their match so early makes it seem like it's not as big as what comes after it.

-- Excessive profanity? What the fuck is that? Why would the GM even allow that to stand? Granted, both teams are in the Rumble but it wasn't worth it.

The Matches:

Morrison and Henry vs. Sheamus and Del Rio -- For a tag match with Mark Henry (for at least the second week in a row) this was pretty good. I liked the finish, it's not often you see Mark Henry tap. It really helps to put over Del Rio who in my mind is a future world champion.

Rating: 7/10

Melina vs. Natalya -- It was a short match, but it was still good. Melina is extremely aggressive and I like that. Natalya's counter at the end was very cool.

Rating: 6/10

Miz vs. Edge -- PPV quality until the ending. I can understand why they had the ending the way it was because they don't want either champion looking weak going into the Rumble, but at the same time I wanted to see a proper finish. Maybe some day down the road these 2 will go at it for one of the top belts.

Rating: 8/10

Danielson and the Bellas vs. Ted DiBiase, Maryse and Alicia Fox -- This was total bullshit. I want my 30 seconds back. I've been saying for weeks now, just split the Bellas up already for crying out fuck. I don't think they'd do well outside of the twin gimmick, and this is probably going to lead to their release, but just get on with it.

Rating: 2/10

McGillicutty and Harris vs. Santino and Kozlov -- The match wasn't that exciting, but the right people won. Harris and McGillicutty did well and Santino did do a decent job of selling it. Other than that, nothing that great.

Rating: 5/10

Punk vs. Barrett, Cena as the ref -- I'm not going to bother. I'd give it a zero, but aside form the bullshit Barrett and Punk were phenomenal.

Rating: 3/10

Average Match Rating: 5.2/10 (-1.8)

Match of the Night: Miz vs Edge

Overall Show Rating: 5/10 (-1.5)

For a go home show, it was weak. For the average Raw as of late, it was right on par. The moments of greatness were muddied by the crap around them.

January 20, 2011

2011 Wish List

As promised, here's my wish list for WWE in 2011. This is what, as a fan, I'd like to see from them in the coming 12 months.

-- Credibility in the tag team division. There are currently 3 tag teams in all of WWE right now, one of which is the biggest joke in the company. Sadly, that team holds the gold. Santino and Kozlov don't work as a team (besides that, Kozlov doesn't work as a face). I'm normally not a fan of slapdash pairings, but there are some teams that could potentially work. Evan Bourne and Justin Gabriel for one would be amazing. Yet they keep putting random people with Mark Henry. Who do you have to piss off to get stuck next to that sack of perspiration? Anyways, I would like to see some rejuvenation in the tag team division, and have some legitimacy restored to the belts.

-- New title contenders. This one is fairly obvious. For a while now, it's been the same elite few in the top title pictures, and virtually nobody in the lesser title pictures. CM Punk would be a relatively fresh face for the WWE title, and Jack Swagger should be back in the hunt on Smackdown. I think Raw doesn't have enough potential WWE title contenders at the moment. It's not just a lack of build up, but also a lack of people worth building up. Yes, there are a few people that I think should be pushed as a main eventer like Brian Danielson and maybe Ted DiBiase, Kozlov could even make it if he dropped this face gimmick and became an unstoppable beast again. Other than that, there's nobody there. As for the lesser titles, there is literally a whole roster for that. Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu, the list goes on. Use them already.

-- Unified roster. Yeah, this is unlikely. This is the best solution to the lack of depth that is plaguing WWE right now. With the brands split up, feuds are very limited. Put the rosters together so there doesn't need to be a trade or a draft to change the roster dynamics. People will say that the separate brands give us a reason to watch both shows, and that may be true, but WWE can still give us a reason to watch both shows through good booking.

Alternatively, freer movement between brands. More interpromotional matches and feuds is what WWE needs right now to keep things fresh and interesting.

-- More #1 contenders matches. I prefer them over "I want a title match" promos. I know wrestling is scripted, but it looks more credible if someone proves their ability in a match than if they just flap their gums. Yes, there is a place for talk, but you can't talk your opponent into giving you their title so why should you be able to talk yourself into a title shot?

-- Divas. I want the same thing for the women as I do for the tag team division. Bring back some credibility. Bring in some girls that are hot AND can wrestle. Not too many of those around at the moment. We have a few of them but not nearly enough to make up what I would call a good women's division.

-- Finishing storylines. There were a few angles that we just dropped completely without another word. Am I the only one that wants to see these things through? I still want to know why Nexus helped Kane at Bragging Rights. I want answers, DAMMIT!

-- New concepts. WWE has been trying recently, and I will give them that. However, what they're trying is gimmick PPV's and the odd little thing here and there. Not exactly what I was hoping for. A new match type, different championship rules, I dunno, something. Anything. I'm not expecting 100% great concepts, I just want to see more and better attempts at innovation.

Am I asking for too much? To me, this all seems simple. Granted there is a whole business end that I don't fully understand. I'm not expecting or asking for overnight changes, I'd just like to see a general improvement in the product I'm watching.

January 19, 2011

WWE Monday Night Raw Review: Jan 17/11

Yeah, it's a day late. I waited until today when I actually had some time to do it. I don't want to half ass it.

WZ Coverage

Great, Cena's starting the show. Even Miz and Riley couldn't save this segment. Miz is starting to get a little repetitive. Really? Really. Still pretty good though. He just needs something new to say.

Stupid Rocky 4 quotes. I wish Ivan Drago would come out and beat Cena up. If he dies, he dies.

I figured there was going to be the big beatdown thing that happens right around the time they start hyping the Rumble. Nexus did look alright though, or at least until they got chased off by the 2 biggest jokes in WWE.

Match 1: Santino and Kozlov vs. The Usos, WWE Tag Team Titles

The Usos looked pretty good, but the match overall was dull. Also, if they want the Usos (or any team for that matter) to look like legit contenders, they need to stop having them lose to a finisher that is almost on par with the Finger Poke of Doom.

Rating: 6/10

This random backstage thing with Punk didn't make any sense. Oh well. That's WWE for ya.

Match 2: Morrison vs. Danielson

There were a couple of awkward moments, like when Danielson arched his back for no apparent reason in the first set of transitions, and Morrison was getting a little sluggish by the end but overall this was a great match. PPV quality for sure. I'd actually like to see more from these two.

Rating: 9/10

I liked Sheamus' little bit here. It was nice and arrogant, which is what I'd expect from him.

The Bellas really need to get on with this split thing if they're going to do it. Seriously, it's been weeks now, and I don't like this whole "maybe they will, maybe they won't" crap I see. They seem to have an issue, work it out, lather rinse repeat. It bugs me. Another question, if they're both in love with Danielson, why are they talking about Morrison? Unless they're really not in love with him and are just using him.

Match 3: Ziggler vs. Orton

Second great match of the night. Vickie was her usual annoying self, and I love how it seems like she's forgotten all about what Edge showed her last week on SD. Back to the match, it was fairly intense. Another PPV quality match that we got to see for free.

Rating: 9/10

So that's what Miz was talking about earlier. Orton getting laid out was interesting to watch, and I like the way Miz delivered his tag line. I think it had more impact that way. The yelling only works during promos in my mind.

More faith stuff from Punk. I'm a little confused by this. Maybe this is his way of showing that he's a real leader with these "pep talks"? I dunno. It's strange.

Match 4: Maryse vs. Natalya

Pretty dull match. I wasn't impressed by much here, but Natalya did a good job as always. Maryse did okay, but it wasn't her best work.

Rating: 5/10

Random freakout by Maryse. I guess this kind of thing is what they were talking about when they said she was struggling with getting DiBiase over. It bothers me that Ted isn't getting a push because of Maryse. If they want to push Ted, why don't they just cut Maryse loose?

Top Rope Challenge

Ted DiBiase issues a top rope challenge to anyone on the Raw roster. Of course the World's Fattest Man answers. It would be too silly otherwise. I'm not surprised it turned into the shit show it did. Question: Why did it keep going after DiBiase lost?

I'm not even going to justify this with a rating.

Del Rio did a good job on the mic again, but that's the only thing worth mentioning.

Match 5: Punk vs. Cena

Punk did quite well here, as he always does. However, Cena ruined the match for me. The Koji Clutch by Punk was pretty sweet. Too bad it ended the way it did. I would rather have seen Cena tap but we got a DQ finish.

I don't understand that. It shows weakness. If they're trying to make Punk look like a strong leader, why would he need someone to come down and interfere? Sure, Cena lost, but it suggests that Punk isn't good enough to win on his own, which is never a good thing if you're trying to be a good leader.

Rating: 6/10

New member of Nexus, pretty cool I guess. I like what Jericho called Mason Ryan on Twitter: Batistwo.

That's the end of the show.

Average Match Rating: 7/10 (+1)

Match of the Night: Danielson vs. Morrison/Ziggler vs. Orton (tie)

Overall Show Rating: 6.5/10 (--)

I'm discontinuing the magic 8-ball feature. I'm losing my ability to predict things. Either that or WWE has become to erratic.

I'll have my 2011 wish list up in the next couple of days. I'm trying to come up with something good for a storyline, but failing that, I'll have something else planned.

January 12, 2011

WWE Monday Night Raw Review: Jan 10/11

Here it is, my first Raw review of the new year. Yes, I am aware that it's the second episode of Raw for 2011, but I was out of the country last week. So here it is, new year, new review.

WZ Coverage

To start off, Nexus is looking pretty good without Barrett. It was a fairly standard beatdown, but I think it got the attention it was hoping to.

This whole initiation thing isn't sitting well with me. I'm not overly surprised, but it still bugs me. Why would WWE do something like this in a PG environment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending PG, I just think that they should try to stay within the constraints of PG if that's what they're going to be. Granted this could be a turning point in the PG era. Maybe that's reading too much into it.

Punk has some great mic skills and I'm digging his new look. When he still had the long hair and Jesus beard, he looked like a hippie. Now, he actually looks like a leader. His appearance fits the part better than it did before.

The other thing I just thought about is, if you want to be the strongest group in WWE, why intentionally weaken your members with these initiations?

Match 1: Truth vs. Del Rio

First off, lol at Ricardo rubbing his face. I have no idea what that was about. the jacket didn't even come near him.

Typical annoying cheap pop crap by Truth pre-match. Del Rio's entrance is something I enjoy, but then I'm into classic cars. The cars, the honking, his own ring announcer, it all goes towards a very good heel gimmick.

The match itself was pretty meh. Stupid ending to say the least. Del Rio looked good, but the finish was dumb. On a related note, wouldn't the match normally have been tossed? I'm just thinking about other matches where one of the opponents has put his hands on someone interfering. It doesn't make sense. WWE needs some consistency.

Rating: 6/10

Post match promo was great work from Del Rio. Again it goes into his gimmick very nicely. For some reason, Ricardo is dancing and singing. It's mildly funny but not my thing.

Good to see King back at the announce table. Also good to hear him ragging on Cole.

I'm sick and tired of the anonymous GM. Enough already. Give us a fucking name. An actual person. Anything. Just stop with the emails.

Again, it's nice to hear someone making fun of Cole. I did kinda laugh when King closed the computer to shut it up and it still worked. That was pretty good.

Here we go with what is possibly the oldest hazing ritual known to man: lashing. I'm moving on now.

Match 2: Danielson and Henry vs. Kidd and DiBiase

Thank God Danielson shaved. That beard didn't look right on him. Couldn't they have found a better partner for him? Mark Henry was by far the weakest link in this match. Where's Anne Robinson when you need her?

I think this match would have been better if it was given more time. 3 of the 4 men were good wrestlers so there was a chance for some great action. That said, I'm glad it ended when it did because I don't like watching Mark Henry sweat on everyone.

Rating: 6/10

I guess Big Show is the new face of Smackdown. He's the one doing all of the cross-brand stuff lately. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but could the face of the brand be someone who is maybe a little more compelling?

I guess facing Big Show is Otunga's hazing.Needless to say, I saw this coming. Of course Show is going to completely destroy Otunga. Nothing shocking.

Match 3: Morrison vs. King Sheamus

Decent match. I've seen better, but I've also seen much worse. Good long match from both men. I may not like Morrison, but he did alright here tonight.

Rating: 7/10

Slater and Gabriel are now told to hit one another with kendo sticks. Good for them they didn't do it. I wish they'd hit Punk instead of just walking out, but either way, it works.

First HOF inductee is up after the break. They keep saying he's the best ever and stuff like that. Don't they say that about at least one inductee every year? Anyways, I can't wait to see who it is.

FUCK YEAH HBK!!! Sorry. I just marked out a little. I kinda thought he was going to be in the Hall of Fame. It's really good to see.

God I missed his entrance. Del Rio, again perfectly befitting his gimmick, spoils the moment and turns it into something about himself. I forgot how much I missed Sweet Chin Music too. I wish he'd had a chance to actually say something. Either way, the 2011 HOF is off to a great start.

Riley is getting better with his promo skills. Miz did well here again. He usually delivers with his promos and I wasn't disappointed.

Here's a holy shit moment for you: Looks like Punk is getting ready to jump off the Tron as his own initiation. Aw, turns out he was strapped to a harness with two guys holding him up. I enjoyed that. He honestly had me going for a split second.

Again, I really liked his promo. He made a lot of good points.

Oh shit, here's Cena. I'm not even going to bother with this. Suffice it to say Cena was describing himself more than he was Punk. Great, now there's a match between them for next week.

Match 4: Miz and Riley vs. King and Orton

Could we please get King out of the ring? He shouldn't be wrestling anymore. The match had a few decent parts, but other than that it wasn't worth my time. Way to go King, you continue to take time away from those who actually still have a career. The only saving grace (if this can even be counted) is that King didn't pin Miz.

Rating: 5/10

Average Match Rating: 6/10 (-0.1)

Match of the Night: King Sheamus vs. Morrison

Overall Show Rating: 6.5/10 (-1)

Magic 8-Ball:

More Divas please

HOF gets even better

Slater and Gabriel end up with Barrett on SD

AJ Lee joins Nexus

That's all for this week. I'll do something on my wishes for 2011 for this week and I may even start a new storyline if my creative juices are flowing enough.

January 11, 2011

Raw Review Update

I'm BAAACK! Did you miss me? Anyways, Punta Cana was fucking epic, but I'm glad to be home. I have a busy day today and I work at 5 so I won't be covering last night's Raw today. I have tomorrow off and I should be free for just long enough to pump out a good review. I'm still getting caught up on the wrestling I PVR'd. You miss a week, you miss a lot.

That's it for now, just wanted to let you know what's going on.

January 1, 2011

The Little Things

I've been thinking recently, and there are a lot of small details or omissions in storylines or what have you that bother me. Some of them may be oversights, others are blatant lies. Like Jerry Lawler's "first" WWE title match against Miz a few weeks ago. WWE either purposely lied to us to advance their storyline which would be straight up Big Brother shit, or it was an honest mistake which I can't see being the case. Either way, it didn't look good once it came out that Lawler actually faced HBK for the title back in the 90's.

Another one that I picked up from Smackdown the other night was Edge saying he got to see his "good friend" Christian at the Slammy Awards. Weren't they supposed to be brothers? This one is more likely a mistake, but Edge of all people should know that him and Christian were kayfabe brothers back in the day.

Other things just don't seem to make sense, like why, up until last week's Smackdown, was Alex Riley still carrying around Miz's Money in the Bank briefcase? It was cashed in, and the ref took it from Miz. Why did he still have it? Granted, this was remedied somewhat 2 weeks ago and now Riley is carrying around a plain briefcase. I still don't know what the case is for, but maybe it's part of an upcoming storyline. Either way I hope it gets explained soon.

Lastly, I'd like to ask why nobody goes for help during a backstage assault. Sometimes they do get broken up, but most of the time, when someone is being dragged up and down the hallway, everyone is just walking around minding their own business. It doesn't make sense that nobody would care about what's going on.

It just seems odd that WWE would go through seemingly so much trouble to make these in depth storylines and what have you, then overlook little things like this.

Do they think we as fans won't notice? Do they think it's not important? I don't know the answer, but I still find it annoying.